How Silicon Valley and DoorDash Are Ruining Cookie Season for Some Girl Scouts

The ethos of Silicon Valley is present even in Girl Scout cookie selling, apparently

children hands on top of each other
Girl Scout troops have found a competitor: DoorDash.
Westend61 via Getty

At the height of cookie season, green tables and girls with patches on vests are a common sight outside of grocery stores and on sidewalk corners. This year, they’ve been facing a crisis. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that after labor shortages at a bakery in Kentucky left some Northern California troops scrambling for cookies, some troops faced another hurdle: the new partnership of Girl Scout troops with the food-delivery app DoorDash. 

The program was rolled out this year, with troops choosing whether or not they would partner with DoorDash or continue selling cookies the traditional way. Parents are saying that the program was unequal from the get go, with only certain troops being given the option to enroll. While some troops weren’t able to purchase certain kinds of cookies because of the shortage, on DoorDash every type of cookie was available, as troops had placed larger orders ahead of time to satisfy customers on the app. 

One scout’s mom said that this year cookie selling was “a perfect microcosm of the Silicon Valley ethos.” Another parent of a scout said that the difference was clear, “You got the big corporation with all the money behind it, and on the other hand, you have 8-year-olds standing outside Safeway with no cookies and they look sad.” 

The troops that are getting to use DoorDash have found it to be a massive success, two scouts said they had sold 250 boxes in one day, and they love the fast pace of keeping up with orders as they come in. Cookie selling has long been a source of fundraising for troops and Girl Scouts nationally. In 2021 $2.6 million was made selling cookies in Northern California alone. Nationally, Girl Scouts sells on average $800 million cookies per year. According to Christine Dhondt, senior director of product programs for Girl Scouts of Northern California, maybe 1% of troops in the region have used the partnership. 

This year’s cookie season ends on March 27th, and there are no plans to change the current DoorDash partnership. In coming away from this year’s cookie season, one parent said that “It was not the education I was expecting to give to my daughter from Girl Scouts about fairness and access and bridging the digital divide, but it’s definitely an education in how business works in our country today.”


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